These Back Packing Skills are Easy to Learn
As outdoor enthusiasts spend more and more time in our remote country regions, a few basic skills of back packing happen to be more and more essential. All of these skills are easy to learn and add significantly to the overall enjoyment of your time spent outdoors. The key word here is enjoyment.
In order to enjoy ourselves, we must be relaxed with ourselves and our surroundings. This is especially true in the backcountry. So let’s talk about skills that, when mastered, will lead to enhanced enjoyment as we find ourselves on a road less travelled. The overal enjoyment of back packing in amazing places can be enhanced with these east to learn skills.
Skills to Learn
Understanding basic first-aid is vital. This skill is needed whether you enter the outback or not. If you haven’t taken both a first-aid class and a CPR class lately, what are you waiting for? Accidents happen, be prepared.
Back packing expeditions can require a basic understanding of how to read a map. Whether you prefer to use a map with a compass or with a GPS, learn how to find your way around so you can easliy locate your position. Getting lost can be horrific. Fear of getting lost can be worse. Classes for map reading, compass use and GPS use are readily available online. Look out for orienteering clubs that can give you basic instruction. This will differently add more adventure and pleasure to your trip.
How are you at knot tying? This is an easily acquired skill. Needing to use a rope and actually knowing how to use it is very cool. Being able to use the right knot at the right time is so important. Learn how to tie a bowline, sheet bend, rolling hitch and timber hitch, and even a basic reef knot is a great advantage and simply adds to your enjoyment outdoors. Many books and websites are available with pictures and instructions to help you successfully tie any knot or hitch you need.
To start a fire, only two things are needed—heat and fuel. Whenever you’re on vacation in the great outdoors, always be sure to carry both heat and fuel. Heat is easiest to carry in the form of waterproof matches or a weather proof lighter. Fuel is harder to carry although starter fuel such as lint and mineral oil shouldn’t be too complicated. Nature provides a wealth of fuel if you know what you’re looking for.
Be certain you know how to start a fire before you start your journey. There are many ways to start a fire and you should find at least three of them that work for you. You can find plenty of resources on-line regarding this essential outdoor skill.
The most pleasurable way to experience our back packing is the “minimal damage to the environment” way. You’ve most likely heard the phrase “leave only footprints, take only pictures.” If we take good care of our wilderness areas, not only will we be able to enjoy them our entire lives but the next generations will have the prospect to take pleasure in them too.
There are many organizations actively educating outdoor aficionados regarding the best way to recreate a “low impact environment”. Its an important issue, especially nowadays as more and more of our wilderness areas are under extreme pressure, forced upon them by land degradation, climate change and over population.
Knowing these five life skills will provide you with the poise to fully enjoy your time back packing and enjoying so much of what this country has to offer. Once you’ve learned these skills be sure to pass them on to your friends and family.
Use this information and you’ll Get It Right the First Time.
Now in addition to you stepping outdoors for your great adventure there are some more basic rules that I suggest you follow. Especially if this is the first time you have ventured out in this manner. We have covered a few of them earlier in the article however it’s important to reiterate these important skills.
So here they are.
Backpack Safety – What Are the Basic Rules?
Have you ever had a backpacking trip that turned into a disaster – even though you brought everything you needed?
You need more than good gear to assure a safe and enjoyable wilderness experience. You need to know how to do handful things, and this list I’m about to share with you that will get you started.
- Learn fire making.
Practice in your yard if you have to, but try to start that fire with one match. Try it the next time it’s raining too.
- Learn to pitch a tent.
Do it wrong and the rain will come in, or the wind will tear the seams. Tents should be pitched tight, and you should be able to set your tent up in a few minutes.
- Learn how to stay warm.
Practice camping in the yard, to see how is blocking the wind, wearing a hat, and eating fatty foods before sleeping can keep you warmer.
- Learn to cook over a fire.
It’s not as easy as it seems. Block the wind, cover the pan, keep the fire small and concentrated. Practice, and time yourself. Faster is better in a jam, and it’s always possible your stove will break.
- Learn about edible plants.
Knowing how to identify cattails and three or four wild edible berries can make a trip more enjoyable, especially if you ever lose your food to a bear.
- Learn how to walk.
Learning how to pace yourself and how to move comfortably over rocky terrain means you’ll be less tired and less likely to twist an ankle.
- Learn about animals and insects.
Can you tell if a bear is “bluff charging” or stalking you? If it’s the latter, playing dead will make you a bear’s supper. Hint: lots of noise usually means he just wants to frighten you, but you need to read up on this one. Same with dangerous insects, especially spiders. Make sure to read up on what is out there in the region you choose to hike in.
- Learn to watch the sky.
Is that a lightning storm coming or not? It might be useful to know when you’re on that ridge. Learn the basics of predicting weather, and you’ll be a lot safer.
- Learn basic first aid.
Can you recognize the symptoms of hypothermia? Do you know how to properly treat blisters? Good things to know.
- Learn navigation.
Maps don’t help if you don’t know how to use them. The same is true for compasses
You don’t need to be an expert in wilderness survival to enjoy a safe backpacking expedition. However, it can help to know a small amount though. Use the backpacking skills list above, and learn something new each time you venture outdoors.
Experience counts for a huge amount and you can only gain that experience by getting out there. However “Be Prepared” like Baden Powell would say. Knowledge of the terrain and environment you’re heading into before you step out can be critical to your safety and enjoyment. Be sure to advise people including the local authorities of where you’re heading and the time you expect to be away and when you’ll return. Take all the necessary precautions and then have fun exploring.